Suspicious Minds Marilyn Monroe, Tupac, Kurt Cobain, & More Celebrity Death Conspiracies
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of original pin-up girl Marilyn Monroe. Although she is said to have died of “probable suicide,” there are some conspiracy mavens who believe otherwise. From Marilyn to John Lennon to Tupac Shakur, here are 11 celebrity deaths that have been deemed suspicious by many.
Matty Zimmerman / AP Photo
Today marks the 50
th anniversary of the death of original pin-up girl Marilyn Monroe. While most of the legendary blonde’s life details were widely known, those surrounding her death continue to be a mystery. Although she is said to have died of “probable suicide,” there are some who believe otherwise: “There was definitely a vast cover-up as it relates to Marilyn Monroe’s death,” said Jay Margolis, author of a new book titled Marilyn Monroe: A Case For Murder. Theories such as Margolis’s stem from a half-hour gap between Monroe’s declared time of death and when police were dispatched. Other incomplete clues include phone records, and tests that were never run, such as toxicology and digestive tests. But Monroe is hardly the first celebrity death to raise consistency questions. From John Lennon to Tupac Shakur, see more celebrity-death conspiracies.
Michel Linssen, Redferns / Getty Images Kurt Cobain
lead singer of Nirvana wasn’t found until three days after he died. A report filed by the Seattle Police Department states that Cobain had a shotgun across his body, a visible head wound, and a suicide note nearby. Case solved? Not so fast. The note supposedly written by Cobain only brings up suicide in the last few lines—and those lines are in a handwriting that is undoubtedly different from the rest of the letter. Also, the amount of heroin found in Cobain’s system wouldn’t allow most people the ability to operate a firearm. He most likely would have passed out before being able to pull the trigger. And lastly, there were zero gunpowder burns, or even gunpowder residue, found on the late singer’s hands.
Jacqueline Sallow / Corbis Michael Jackson
Although there isn’t a whole lot of evidence to suggest he’s still alive, many
Jackson conspiracy theorists believe Jackson faked his own death to escape the pressures of being—well, Michael Jackson. But autopsy reports of the superstar tell a different story. Covered in small puncture marks and scars, Jackson went into cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009, and authorities concluded that it was Jackson’s heavy use of the prescription drug, propofol, that killed him.
Most artists don’t release albums after they’ve died. But this statistic does not cover infamous rapper Tupac Shakur. Shakur’s more than rocky relationship with fellow rapper, Biggie Smalls, may have led to the
now hologram-ed entertainer’s death. On September 7, 1996, Tupac was gunned down in the streets of Las Vegas—but his “death” did not stop the rapper from mysteriously releasing two more albums, leading many to speculate whether he faked his death to leave the violent world in which he was entangled—or if he’s just writing from the grave. Anna Nicole Smith
The actress, model and alleged “gold digger”
Anna Nicole Smith died at age 39 of an overdose of prescription drugs in February 2007. But just a few months earlier, Smith’s son, Daniel, died the same way—a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs eerily similar to what was found in Smith’s system.
Reeves was known for being the first actor to bring Superman to the small screen, but not much else. Although he wanted to be a character actor,
Reeves was pigeon-holed into a single role due to the iconic nature of portraying Superman. Because of his dying career, when Reeves was found with a seemingly self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, not many were too surprised. But because a few years prior Reeves had an affair with the wife of a powerful MGM manager, some theorists suggested a more sinister demise. The claims garnered some cred for some people, because there was no gunpowder found on Reeves’ skin—a usual occurrence in such shootings. Elvis Presley
Jailhouse Rock, hip-gyrating singer infamously died while on the toilet, passing out in a pool of vomit. Although his death originally was attributed to a heart attack, authorities later revealed it could have been caused by an overdose of prescription meds. Oddly enough, even years after his death, countless sightings of the King of Rock n’ Roll have been reported around the world. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking, or perhaps Presley escaped the pressures of wearing flared white bodysuits for an easier existence. John Lennon
The Beatle’s sudden death shocked an entire population. On December 8, 1980, Lennon was returning to his New York City home when he was shot four times by Mark David Chapman, who, after his crime, took a seat on the ground and patiently waited to be arrested. But who was Chapman, and why was he so compliant? Some theorists say the killer was a remote-controlled assassin hired by the FBI and brainwashed to kill Lennon with orders from President Reagan—all because of Lennon’s liberal beliefs. Frank Worth, Courtesy of Emage International / Getty Images Natalie Wood
Natalie Wood’s body was found floating off the coast of Catalina Island, the actress’s death has been a source of controversy. On November 29, 1981, the West Side Story star reportedly slipped while attempting to get onto a yacht, and her heavy wool coat pulled her down and she drowned when she slipped into the water. But Wood was known for her fear of water and inability to swim, so why would such a woman carelessly hop onto a yacht? Reports of Wood flirting with fellow actor Christopher Walken and arguing with husband Robert Wagner added fuel to the idea that her death was nont an accident. It has not helped that both Wagner and Walken, while denying any foul play, refuse to talk about her death to this day.
Tom Copi, Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images Jim Morrison
Probably the most normal-seeming death on our list is that of
Jim Morrison, who died after watching a movie and taking a bath in his Paris apartment. An autopsy was never performed by French authorities, who claimed it was unnecessary because there were no markings indicating foul play. Years of drug use, especially heroin, could have claimed the famed Doors singer’s life, but former bandmate Ray Manzarek thinks Morrison may still be alive. Manzarek thinks Morrison may have fled to Seychelles, a small country in the Indian Ocean, to escape the traumas of his famous life.
John F. Kennedy
The most widely pored-over celebrity conspiracy in perhaps the entirety of popular culture surrounds the
U.S. president’s very public assassination in Dallas. Although an investigation concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the killing of the president in 1963, that has not stop theorists from creating their own lengthy list of suspects. Among them are Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, the Ku Klux Klan, and even the CIA.